LAST DAYS OF HUMANITY
Putrefaction In Progress (2006)
Netherlands, Bones Brigade Records, Goregrind.
As a Death Metal fanatic, it is guaranteed that the majority of bands you listen to will illicit horrified expressions from the general populace. If I had a nickel for every time someone cringed when I mentioned the name Dying Fetus I’d be retired in Acapulco at only eighteen years old. Even within the broad umbrella of Death Metal however, there will always be niches that even some of the most hardcore devotees will never understand. Goregrind, for the most part is one of those niches. I’ve known plenty of brutality lovers who swear up and down that goregrind is just senseless, ugly noise. To a large degree, they’re correct. That’s the crux of goregrind; creating asphyxia inducing music that emphasizes hideousness and revulsion. All of the very best goregrind outfits are capable of making albums that give the listener a palpable sense of nausea and sheer terror. One of the very best in doing just that is the Dutch monster known as Last Days Of Humanity. Although the band’s recently reformed, ‘Putrefaction In Progress’ has been the latest outing from the band to this day. Within the six years of its release, I maintain that it is STILL one of the most dank, repugnant and downright disturbing goregrind albums of all time. For those willing to give this a chance (which, admittedly is a very small percentage of people) I guarantee your appetite for goregrind will be satiated.
Right off the bat, there’s no room to breathe, compose yourself or understand exactly what’s going on. From the very first blast beat to the very last growl, this album was designed as an omnipresent claustrophobic wall of sound. The drumming abilities of Marc Palmen are at the forefront of Last Days Of Humanity’s sound and were it not for the lo-fi recording of his drumwork, I would immediately think it was a drum machine. Like other goregrind releases, the vocals are indeed pitch shifted for a subterranean effect but they’re appreciable here simply because they, more than any other part of the album, emphasize the disgust this album can build up in someone. As insane as it may sound, the guitar work is easily the least important part of this album. If anything, it acts as the steady undercurrent of the intense sensations the vocals and drums pound into the listener. There’s a good chance that ‘Putrefaction In Progress’ is easily the most abominable album ever recorded. In a genre that can become stagnant when overkill is not the norm, that’s a very welcome proposition. Nothing here is catchy or melodious and at times, even ‘music’ isn’t the proper description. This album is the auditory representation of being trapped in the cavernous lair of an ancient, unspeakable creature as you and everyone you love is mercilessly devoured. As the album comes to a head, everyone you’ve ever loved has been desecrated and torn apart by this beast and as you make one last feeble attempt to escape, it uses your own leaking bodily fluid (blood, bone marrow, whatever have you) to catch you. It then finishes you off as painfully as it possibly can. If I were making the most intense monster film of all time, I would think of contacting Last Days Of Humanity.
The most important question however is where does this album land on a grading scale? As a goregrind release, it easily deserves a 10/10. If I were grading on its status as commonly understood ‘music’, it would be in negative numbers. A fair compromise in the context of this website would be a 7/10. The drumwork is unbelievable and the pitch shifted vocals are among the rare few that aren’t absolute garbage yet the guitar work is almost rendered completely inconsequential and there’s little variation as a whole. This release certainly is EXTREMELY technical and goregrind is indeed under the umbrella of death metal but outside of hardcore goregrinders, I can’t see very many folks getting behind this release, which is unfortunate because for those with the proper palette, this really is the creme de la creme of its genre. What it lacks in any sense of conventional musicality it more than makes up for in pure, unadulterated vileness. I for one think that’s quite an accomplishment. I look forward to even more grotesqueness from the Dutch.